HISTORY: The City of Albemarle is the County Seat of Stanly County, and was incorporated in 1857. It is named for George Monck, the Duke of Albemarle, who was one of the eight Lords Proprietors granted the province of Carolina in 1663 by King Charles II. The City’s early growth in the late 19th century and early 20th century was generated by the growth of large textile mills. These mills remained an important part of the City’s economy until the 1980’s and 1990’s when a more diversified economy began to emerge. The City currently covers an area of 15 square miles, and has a population of 16,197.
GOVERNANCE: The City is governed by a Mayor and seven member City Council. The City Council is comprised of four members that are elected in districts, and three members elected at large. The Mayor serves for a two year term and members of City Council serve four year staggered terms.
ADMINISTRATION: The City Council appoints a City Manager who is responsible for all operations of the City. The City is organized into 12 departments: Police, Fire, Public Utilities, Public Works, Public Housing, Engineering, Planning/Community Development, Parks and Recreation, Finance, Human Resources, Information Services, and Administration.
HIGHLIGHTS: Recreation-The City’s Parks and Recreation Department operates four major parks, a community center, and a large number of programs. These facilities include two swimming pools, several tennis courts, s soccer complex, a gymnasium, three ball fields, several playgrounds, and various other amenities. The City has just begun the development of a greenway system that will eventually connect all areas of the City.
Neighborhoods: The City has a varied, well maintained housing stock, with neighborhoods in every income category. There are several new subdivisions that are on the drawing board for development in the near future, which will add to the City’s housing choices.
Utilities: The City operates an electric distribution system that was created in 1910, and which currently serves over 11,000 customers. The City operates a large water and sewer system that includes two water plants and one wastewater treatment plant. The water plants have a combined capacity of 16.5 MGD, with approximately fifty percent of this capacity available for future growth. The wastewater treatment plant is operating at approximately 50% of its 16 MGD capacity, and can be modified to increase capacity.
Landfill: The City owns and operates a modern Subtitle D lined landfill with capacity for more than 20 years of future disposal. As part of this operation, the City provides a recycling program for tires, appliances, and yard waste; as well as a construction and demolition landfill for items not requiring disposal in a lined landfill.
Public Safety: The City has a 42 person Fire Department with three stations. The Fire Department operates an emergency medical first responder program, and has some of the most modern fire fighting available including infrared imaging technology. The City’s Police Department is comprised of 53 members, and is nationally accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). It was the 14th agency to be accredited when this received in 1995, and at that time Albemarle was the smallest municipality in North Carolina to have an accredited Police Department. The Police Department operates on community policing principles, and has three satellite offices in addition to the main office.
Downtown Revitilization: Albemarle is a Main Street community, and has a very successful downtown revitalization program. There are a number of historic preservation and adaptive reuse projects in the downtown area that have been recently completed or are being planned.